There is something WRONG.
|THESE ARE *NOT* EQUAL|
SATURDAY: We all know that our bunnies purposely wait until our regular vets' offices are closed and/or our specific exotic-animal-vet-who-specializes-in-only-our-one-specific-rabbit-owned-by-only-us-no-one-else-will-do vet is on vacation. It makes for added stress in the already crisis situation at hand.
I borrowed my daughter's temperamental car and whisked Lance to the emergency vet (the jerky stops and starts gave us both adrenalin rushes matched only by amusement park rides).
|I CAN SEE FOREVER|
Let me explain further: They took Lance from me and put him in a “back room” for examination.
I was never lead to said room. I was lead to a separate room to read exciting pamphlets about spaying and neutering dogs and cats and doggy dental care. Which I read. Roughly 7 times a piece.
After twenty minutes, Lance was brought into the reading room and suddenly the “head-tilt” wasn't presenting. I was informed that it could be neurological because he no longer showed us his sideways glances. I asked if, perchance, his head tilt could mean that he was in pain and that the painkiller remedied the symptom. The emergency vet excused herself to call regular vet who instructed to “look in his ears.”
When emergency vet placed the otoscope in Lance's ear she stated, “I can't see a thing. They need to make these things much smaller.” I sighed. I knew then it was going to be a very long weekend. No meds were given for home. Lance went immediately into stasis.
|CAN'T SEE A THING|
SUNDAY: I began critical care. I was NOT going back to the emergency vet. My vet's office did not return my “emergency” phone call.
MONDAY: I went to the regular vet. There was, indeed, an ear infection and he was prescribed an antibiotic (Chloramphenicol) and given more pain meds (A magical 3 day time-released morphine shot), some gut meds (Cisapride), Subcutaneous Fluids (A fancy word for IV) and I was to continue giving him critical care. She did not seem too concerned with the fact he wasn't shutting his eyes or not blinking at all on the left side (the ear infection side).
That night, he took another bad turn.
|HE WOULD NOT MOVE|
TUESDAY: I was back in the vet's office, this time with a different vet. Upon a seemingly more thorough examination, the antibiotic was changed due to the *documented* gas-causing side-effect of the original anti-biotic. Go figure. Here it was Tuesday and it had already a long week.
That night, he took a HORRIFIC turn.
WEDNESDAY: I was BACK into the vet's office with a balloon-shaped bunny. I could hear his stomach gurgle from across the room and his belly was distended and hard to the touch. The boy wasn't moving and was simply glaring at me. An X Ray showed the horror: BLOAT.
But not just ANY bloat. In fact, my new veterinarian (who was once vet to The Toledo Zoo) stated that he had never seen an animal so full of gas IN HIS LIFE.
“The good news,” he stated, “is that he is both bloated in the stomach as well as the back end – this indicates that there is probably no blockage in between so it would behoove us to do [fill in a lengthy title for some B Grade horror film procedure here]. “Probably” being the operative word.
|THE GOOD NEWS...|
Having grown up in a farming community, I like to think I am rather pragmatic when it comes to animals, illness and letting go. So, I took a deep breath and with everything in me stated, “Do it.”
Lance remained at the vets' for 2 days. He came through with flying colors... well... a couple colors were flying. Afterward he ate, on his own, for the first time in almost a week. He had a gooey excretion which was assumed to be the “blockage.” He, however, did not poop.
THURSDAY: I played putt-putt golf.
|I DID NOT HAVE THIS MUCH FUN|
FRIDAY: I was back at the vet's to pick up Lance. He still hadn't pooped. But all were hopeful. It is a fact that Lance did not poop for 2 days. He was eating hay and greens though and common sense tells us that we are bound so see something somewhere some time.
SUNDAY NIGHT: Lance looked terrible again. His belly was gurgling again. I figured that I would do something constructive and go cry again. I sat on the floor of my room. The hero that Lance has always been came through: he came into my room and laid next to me. He always did that when I was ill or depressed. I put him next to me in bed and explained that HE was the one who was ill, not me. Then... he crapped right in the middle of my bed. A lot.
MONDAY: We were back in the vet's office. The crap was small dried pellets, but it was big and it WAS, without a doubt, a crap. By now we had been administering pain meds, critical care, gut meds, gas meds, antibiotics, etc. for over a week. Although no one else seemed concerned, I mentioned (once more) that I had not seen Lance even close his eyes for over a week. The look this vet gave me was priceless. “Good catch,” he said. He examined the eyes and found ulceration in each eye and mentioned that THIS could be the current source of pain which is causing stress which is causing etc. etc. etc. *sigh.*
As I bonded with the new vet over ulcers, gas, and poops, our chats lead to other chats which lead to the realization that the stasis in BOTH rabbits could have been more than coincidental. It may NOT even have been the dried apricot that lead to Russette's stasis now 2 weeks prior to Lance's health crisis (albeit it could have helped exacerbate it). It may have been that when they were outside jaunting about, they both could have indulged in the billions of mulberries calling their respective names from my back yard.
The belly upset from berries could have taken a bigger toll on Lance due to his “old man” status. The ear infection was Pasturella (which has cleared up). His ulcerated eye could have been both a result of pain (not blinking due to some related injury or the pain of gas or ear infection) – as well as a reason for his current slow recovery (he is still in pain, therefor his gut is slowing down). I was given a cell phone number and told to text with bad or good news – and ANY questions. As it turns out, he immediately texts back a response.
MONDAY: After a solid week of eye treatment, one eye is completely healed. One is 50% there. I am fighting the temptation to make him an eye patch for photo purposes. The vet kissed Lance on top of the head.
After 3 weeks treatment, Lance is nomming on his own but is still getting some critical care in order to “beef up a bit” and is still on his cornucopia of meds, although he is almost through with most. He eats greens like a champ. And best of all, there is poop. It is STILL not where/how it should be... but he is pooping.
After three weeks of stress, tears, thinking “this is it” – we react to each little co-co puff like it is GOLD. I have also given him the right to crap where ever he damned well pleases.
NEXT MONDAY: We have another appointment. I will keep you posted...
MEDICATIONS [and our loving nick-names for them]:
Lafeber's Emeraid Critical Care [Cement] – pre digested foodstuff for the crisis-laden bun
Chloramphenicol – antibiotic first prescribed by first vet [caused gastrointestinal distress in Lance] Medirabbit.com states “Exceptionally leads to a decreased appetite.”
Sulfatrim [The Pink Stuff] – antibiotic [the doctor stated that he has never had trouble with this one adding that the Chloramphenicol, however, is notorious for causing GI issues]
Cisapride [Gut Go] – GI tract motility
Rimadyl [Ramma Lamma Ding Dong or Ramadan if feeling particularly spiritual] – pain med
Simethicone [Bunny Beano] – anti gas infant med
Flubiprofen Drops [Eye Stuff 1]
Neomycin Sulfate [Eye Stuff 2]
Atropine Sulfate [Eye Stuff 3]
*According to various articles, “no one is really sure what causes bloat.” What bloat is, however, is a gastrointestinal blockage of some form. This causes gas to back-up in Bunny.
RABBIT MEDICAL SITE: